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Whilst browsing a question ( Why cannot I compile `\documentclass{minimal}\document . \enddocument` ? as it happens), I noticed that there is a spam post there. It has been deleted so is not visible to people with reputation below 10k, but I'm not sure that I particularly want to see posts like this when browsing the forum. The pink highlighting actually makes it less ignorable since it's a fairly rare thing to encounter.

This particular post isn't offensive, just irrelevant and ugly, but I can imagine posts that would be offensive, even when outlined in pink.

An obvious solution would be to blank the post, leaving maybe a remark saying: "This was a spam post, it has been blanked.". The edit history contains the original post so it can be checked that it was a genuine spam post. Anyone with the reputation to see it should know about edit history as well, so nothing is being hidden here, just tidied out of the way.

Does this sound like a reasonable thing to do? I thought I'd find out what others thought before unilaterally doing anything myself.

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I agree with blanking after the post has been deleted as spam or if it is really offensive. Blanking it before whould hinder it getting further downvotes so it is automatically deleted.

Just to mention the things again people should do when they encounter spam posts:

  • Flag it as spam. This will cause an automatic downvote done by the special Community user, i.e. it doesn't cost you the normal -1 reputation point.
  • Really offensive stuff should also be flagged for moderator attention. It will be deleted automatically after reaching a certain amount of spam flags.
  • In the unlikely case that the post somehow still have a positive vote count, please downvote it yourself at least to -1 to push it downwards in the list of answers. Then after the spam post has been deleted you can get your -1 rep for the downvote back be recalculating your rep. For this go to https://tex.stackexchange.com/reputation, scroll down and hit the "recalculate reputation" button.

Also moderators are able to remove the user account which posted the spam. Usually they are new, unregistered accounts only used for spam.

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